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David Arthur Skeel

S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law

David Skeel

David Skeel is S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is the author of True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World (InterVarsity, 2014); The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences (Wiley, 2011); Icarus in the Boardroom (Oxford, 2005); Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton, 2001); and numerous articles on bankruptcy, corporate law, financial regulation, Christianity and law, and other topics. Continue reading…


  • Corporations
  • Bankruptcy
  • Religion and the Law


[Available Here]

BANKRUPTCY (Foundation Press 9th ed., 2012) (with William Warren and Daniel J. Bussel).

[Available Here]

Articles and Book Chapters

Foreword: Bankruptcy's New and Old Frontiers, 166 U. PA. L. REV. 1571 (2018) (with William W. Bratton).

Reflections on Two Years of P.R.O.M.E.S.A., 87 REV. JUR. U.P.R. 862 (2018).

The Empty Idea of “Equality of Creditors,” 166 U. PA. L. REV. 699 (2018).

Bankruptcy on the Side, 112 NW. U. L. REV. 255 (2017) (with Kenneth Ayotte and Anthony J. Casey).

The Bylaw Puzzle in Delaware Corporate Law, 72 BUS. LAW. 1 (2016/2017).

Governmental Intervention in an Economic Crisis, 19 U. PA. J. BUS. L. 7 (2016) (with Robert K. Rasmussen).

Governance Reform and the Judicial Role in Municipal Bankruptcy, 125 YALE L.J. 1150 (2016) (with Clayton P. Gillette).

Financing Systemically Important Financial Institutions in Bankruptcy, in MAKING FAILURE FEASIBLE: HOW BANKRUPTCY REFORM CAN END "TOO BIG TO FAIL" (Kenneth E. Scott, Thomas H. Jackson, & John B. Taylor, eds., Hoover Institution Press 2015).
[Available Here]

What is a Lien? Lessons from Municipal Bankruptcy, 2015 U. ILL. L. REV. 675.

From Chrysler and General Motors to Detroit, 24 WIDENER L. J. 121 (2015).

Single Point of Entry and the Bankruptcy Alternative, in ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON THE FINANCIAL CRISIS (Hoover Institution, 2014).

Corporate Governance and Social Welfare in the Common Law World. 92 TEX. L. REV. 973 (2014).

Behaviorism in Finance and Securities Law, 21 SUP. CT. ECON. REV. 77 (2013).

When Should Bankruptcy Be an Option (for People, Places or Things)?, 55 WM. & MARY L. REV. 2217 (2014)

Bankruptcy Law as a Liquidity Provider, 80 U. CHI. L. REV. 1557 (2013) (with Kenneth Ayotte).

Is Bankruptcy the Answer for Troubled Cities and States?, 50 HOUS. L. REV. 1063 (2013).

Transaction Consistency and the New Finance in Bankruptcy, 112 COLUM. L. REV. 152 (2012) (with Thomas Jackson).

States of Bankruptcy, 79 U. CHI. L. REV. 677 (2012).

Introduction: Appreciating Bill Stuntz (with Michael J. Klarman & Carol S. Steiker), in THE POLITICAL HEART OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: ESSAYS ON THEMES OF WILLIAM J. STUNTZ, Cambridge University Press, 2012 (co-editor with Michael J. Klarman & Carol S. Steiker).

Assessing the Chrysler Bankruptcy, 108 MICH. L. REV. 727 (2010), reprinted in 52 CORP. PRAC. COMMENTATOR 1 (2010) (with Mark Roe).

Bankruptcy or Bailouts?, 35 J. CORP. L. 469 (2010) (with Kenneth Ayotte).

Christianity of the (Modest) Rule of Law, 8 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 809 (2006) (with William Stuntz).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Divided by the Sermon on the Mount (February 8, 2019), U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-09; PEPP. L. REV. (forthcoming). (forthcoming)
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Bankruptcy for Banks: A Tribute (and Little Plea) to Jay Westbrook (October 29, 2018), NORTON J. BANKR. L. & PRAC. (forthcoming 2018); U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 18-31. (forthcoming 2018)
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Bankruptcy's Uneasy Shift to a Contract Paradigm (June 16, 2018), 166 U. PA. L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2018); U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-21 (with George Triantis). (forthcoming 2018)
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A Two-Step Plan for Puerto Rico (February 4, 2016), U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 16-3 (with Clayton P. Gillette). (forthcoming)
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The New Synthesis of Bank Regulation and Bankruptcy in the Dodd-Frank Era, in RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON CORPORATE BANKRUPTCY LAW (Barry Adler ed., Elgar Press) (forthcoming 2015/2016)
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A Theory of Law Firm Globalization (unpublished manuscript, 2008) (with John Armour)

Why Do Distressed Companies Choose Delaware? An Empirical Analysis of Venue Choice in Bankruptcy, (U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 03-29, October 2004) (with Kenneth Ayotte).
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Research Areas

  • Christianity and the Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Debt Relief and Sovereign Bankruptcy
  • Law and Religion
  • Law and Poetry


Penn Law - S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law (2004- ); Professor of Law (1999-2003)

Member, European Corporate Governance Institute (2007- ); American College of Bankruptcy (2009- )

Visiting Professor - Georgetown, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin

Temple - Associate Professor of Law (1993-98); Assistant Professor (1990-93)

Professional Activities

Executive Board of American Association of Law Schools Committee on Business Associations (2007-2010)

Research Associate, European Corporate Governance Institute (since 2006)

Member, American College of Bankruptcy (since 2009)

Board of Trustees, Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project, Philadelphia, PA (2000-2006)


  • Corporations
  • Bankruptcy
  • Debt Relief and Sovereign Debt Restructuring
  • Law, Literature, and Interpretation
  • Christian Perspectives on Law

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